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MARCH 2012 | A PUBLICATION OF THE RED & BLACK

[ a m p e r s a n d ]

So in right now Athens’ fashion and favorites


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EDITOR’S NOTE............................................................ 4 staff and contributors.............................. 4 Staff note. ............................................................... 4 On the cover

Find out what makes Athens so band-friendly...... 13 A local take on back pocket booze........................ 19 Bike polo: a new niche in the bike community ..... 25

Eats

9 29

Take a tour of your town’s culinary delights ........ 6 The localvore’s guide to a Classic City Salad........ 7 How to eat in Athens, the right way ................... 8 We crown the best burgers in Athens................... 9

Music

See which local bands are on their way up............ 11 The music that put us on the map ...................... 14 Meet the man behind AthFest and District 5 . ..... 16

Fashion

11 8

Sudent designer stitiching together her dreams.... 21 Broad Street T- Shirt shop creations.................... 22

Rides

Building bikes for the less fortunate .................... 27 Big athletes, small scooters . ................................ 28 How we all get around ........................................ 29 Mapping it all out................................................ 30

ON THE COVER Who: We took Erica Compton and Craig Stitt off the bike polo court and put them in wolve’s clothing. Why: Because making fun of trends is sometimes more fun than wearing them. Location: Chase St. “Love Shack” bus stop. Highlight: Supportive honks from passing cars.


Editor’s Letter

T

he Pantone spring 2012 color is Tangerine Tango. I can’t say that Athens is exactly plastering it all over store windows and signage throughout town, but then again, it’s Athens.

Q:

This month’s theme has our staff thinking about what makes Athens classic. We asked them:

What three Athens things could you not live without?

Megan Swanson Executive editor

AMANDA JONES DESIGN EDITOR

Answer: “Salty Turtles from Walkers, Community Boutique and Ted’s Most Best Pizza.”

Answer: “Mama’s Boy biscuits and gravy, $1 Yuengling at Cutter’s Pub and American Apparel T-Shirts from Dynamite.”

Megan is a senior magazines major

Amanda is a senior art education major

Maura Friedman MANAGING EDITOR

allison love photo editor

Answer: “My huge front porch, Sunday brunch downtown and late night showings at Cine.”

Answer: “Jittery Joe’s coffee, a buttery biscuit from Mama’s Boy and afternoons downtown.”

Maura is a junior magazines and political science major

Allison is a senior magazines major

remy thurston Senior editor

Ed morales Editorial Adviser

My Picks

Answer: “My editors, my bartenders, and my restaurants.”

Answer: “40 Watt, The Grit and being able to see live music all the time.”

Track: King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 1 - Neutral Milk Hotel

Rémy is a senior magazines major

We approached this issue with the knowledge that what is fashionable here is not always what is elsewhere. Our beloved Classic City does not beat to anyone’s drum, let alone a seasonal color scheme, so this issue is devoted to a taste of the in-season bites, wares, transportation and tunes in town, done by none other than students and Athenians. Our cover photo has two Bike Polo players (article pg. 25) who become sheep in wolves clothing, sneaking up on the big bad trends and making them their own. This spring try something new, and preferably local, it will always be “so in right now.”

Bite: Ted’s Most Best Sopressata Pizza (YUM) Ride: My scooter! Favorite: Satisfactory soft and beautifully crafted T’s Best,

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Send us feedback! We want your input on our publication. Send an email to magazine@randb.com with thoughts, questions, comments or criticism.

4

MARCH 2012

Our Staff

ampersand is the

& in all things red & black

EDITORIAL

ADVERTISING

PUBLISHER | HARRY MONTEVIDEO executive editor | MEGAN SWANSON MANAGING EDITOR | MAURA FRIEDMAN SENIOR EDITOR | REMY THURSTON DESIGN Editor | AMANDA JONES PHOTO EDITOR | ALLISON LOVE Recruitment Editor | Jessie Mooney COOKING EDITORS | DARCY LENZ, REMY THURSTON DESIGNeRs | AJ ARCHER, Brittany Robertson, NOEMIE TSHINANGA CONTRIBUTING WRITERS | taylor henriquez, Patty Miranda, Grafton Tanner, Elizabeth Friedly, Satyam Kaswala, adina solomon, ansley vasconcellos, Hanna Yu PHOTOGRAPHERS | Kimberly parks,Gabriella Baetti, Sarah Osbourne, Andrea Briscoe, Cody Schmelter, Lindsay Boyle, Alan Liow, Sean Taylor, Evan Stichler, Hilary Hogg Illustrator | Sarah Lawrence EDITORIAL ADVISER | ED MORALES

ADVERTISING DIRECTOR | NATALIE MCCLURE Student Ad Manager | dana cox Account ExecutiveS | Claire Barron, josephine brucker, Patrick Klibanoff, molly pafford, catie sparks, Anna thorgerson, melissa volpe, Stephanie Wright PR Liaison & Distribution Coordinator | Emily Gober AD ASSISTANTS | natalie gonzalez, Laurel Holland PRODUCTION STUDENT Production Manager JoshUA TREY Barnett Production Staff | Jennie ChIU Creative Assistants | Perry Bern, Bora Shehu

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Copyright 2011: No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The Red & Black reserves the right to refuse advertising for any reason. The opinions expressed by writers do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Red & Black or the University of Georgia.


food

athens • eats p. 6

Getting to Know Local Tour de Food Force, Mary Charles Howard

p. 7

Localvore: A salad within city limits

p. 8

Eating in Athens for dummies’ tummies

p. 9

Beefy burgers


a m p e r s a n d : food

Getting to Know,

Local Tour de Food Force By Darcy Lenz Photos byAllison Love and Brittany Robertson

(Clockwise from top) Mary Charles Howard, founder of Athens Food Tours; Pictures from a recent tour featuring local Athens restaurants.

Mary Charles Howard

When it comes to eating around, few navigate the tasty terrain of Athens’ foodscape quite like Mary Charles Howard, founder of Athens Food Tours. Through her zeal for all things local and delicious, the 2003 University of Georgia grad based her business in exposing people to both the high-end and hole in the wall eateries that give our Classic City her unique flavor. From downtown to Normaltown, Athens Food Tours works to make each neighborhood feel like home during the 3-hour walking excursions, covering chunks of the city’s must-eat destinations. In seeking her expertise on what Athens brings to the table, it became increasingly obvious that taking a bite out of Athens’ best is what Howard is all about; and better yet, she sure loves to share.

Q: What gave you the idea to start a food tours company in Athens? A: Actually, I came into food tours accidentally, but it really worked out great.

After graduation, I was doing landscape architecture in Chapel Hill, NC. I wanted to take another job on the weekends, so I started searching and found a tour guide position. I really like history, and that’s what kind of tours I thought it was. But when I got there, I realized the tours were all about food. I loved the job though, and after moving back to Athens in 2010, I saw that there wasn’t a company like that here. So, I started one.

Q: How would you personally characterize Athens’ food scene? A: Three things: craft beer, locally-sourced food, pizza. Q: Are Athens Food Tours geared more towards tourists or resident Athenians? A: I’d say 70% of people on my tours are locals, which is great. I especially like seeing students bring their parents on tours. I remember what it’s like to be a student and feeling intimidated by what I thought of as fancy restaurants, or not knowing what else was out there. I wish more students knew about locally owned restaurants outside of their usuals. Q: What’s your favorite tour to give? A: The Normaltown tour. Downtown is the most popular, probably because

it’s familiar, especially for locals. I like the downtown tour, but I encourage locals to go for something different. The Normaltown tour is so random and I love that. People are confused where we’re going when we start heading someplace like White Tiger Gourmet. It feels more like a neighborhood than part of the main city.

alaferasalon.com 2440 W. Broad Street 706.548.2188

Q: What’s your favorite meal in Athens? A: That’s so hard, it just depends on my mood. But I guess I’d have to say

eating something at The National. And that’s really because of Chef Peter Dale. His personality makes that restaurant. In the restaurant industry, it’s 60% attitude… doesn’t matter how good the food is if the service is subpar. You need to be treated well.


Be honest: when you sit down to make a salad, do you think of how far your food traveled to get to your table? With the rise of globalization and outsourcing of labor, the foods we eat may collectively log more frequent flier miles than any of us will ever see in a lifetime, losing nutrients and freshness on the journey. Fortunately, Athens has a plethora of local farms that provide tons of beautiful, sustainable produce. Who needs a peach grown out-ofseason from a nameless farm in New Jersey when there’s a farm down the road that grows them? Eating local, in-season foods helps sustain economies and the families that run the farms. Plus, the shorter the distance between field to plate, the fresher and more delicious the food. Your next salad just got way closer — and better.

a salad within city limits

By Patricia Miranda Photos|Allison Love

r a d i s h e s : Front Field Farm Front Field Farm was established by Jacqui Coburn and Alex Rilko in 2009 near Covington, Ga. with the goal of farming organically and sustainably on their 1.25 acres of land. Their favorite crops include Sungold cherry tomatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes, and Diva cucumbers.

4930 H D Atha Rd., Covington, GA 30014 f e ta c h e e s e : Greendale Farm Greendale operates on a few simple principles: total transparency, feeding their animals grass and nothing else, and care and respect towards the animals. The only thing better than feta cheese is feta cheese made with compassion.

4410 Lower Apalachee Rd., Madison, GA 30650 a s pa r ag u s : Mills Farm Tim and Alice Mills, along with their trusty mule Luke, are the good folks behind Mills Farm, located 8 miles north of Athens. They’re known for growing a large variety of vegetables throughout the spring, summer, and fall, welcoming visitors to share their story of how they got into farming.

150 Harve Mathis Rd., Athens 30601 s c a l l i o n s : Dancing Sprout Farms Geoff and Lisa Lewis use their 15 acres in East Athens to bring Certified Naturally Grown produce and flowers to the Athens area. Now in their fifth year of production, they are as dedicated as ever to growing allnatural and sustainable crops.

5175 Old Lexington Rd., Athens 30605

Asparagus and White Bean Salad with Feta and Lemon Dressing

fresh mint: Cedar Grove Farm Stephens, Ga. is home to family-run Cedar Grove Farm, purveyors of free-range chicken eggs, flowers, and produce, including the fresh mint leaves for this salad.

Serves 4: Vegetarian 1 pound asparagus, cut on an angle in 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups) 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 4 teaspoon chopped fresh mint 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 cup cooked or canned white beans, drained and rinsed 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese 1 cup shaved radishes 4 tablespoons chopped scallions

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1. Place the asparagus in a steamer basket set over 1 1/2 inches boiling water, and cover. Steam until the spears are tender-firm and emerald green, 4 to 7 minutes depending on thickness. Drain and place in an ice water bath (or under cold, running water) for a moment to stop the cooking. 2. Put the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, fresh mint, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Drain asparagus. 3. Combine the beans, feta, radishes, and scallions in a large bowl. Add the asparagus pieces. Pour on the dressing and gently toss. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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a m p e r s a n d : food

Eating tummies

athens for dummies ’

By Darcy Lenz Photos by Cody Schmelter

For local flavor, there’s no denying that Athens, Ga. is a unique edible oasis. Alas, various anxieties and misconceptions have many a Classic City diner bound tighter in their comfort bibs than I in my pants after a visit to Mama’s Boy—southern fine dining. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with maintaining tasty standbys. A favorite restaurant repertoire actually makes an opportune starting point for palate expansion. Deeper appreciation for the best of Athens’ food culture is no more than a few mundane meal exchanges away. To best savor Athens’ best, simply open your mind, open your mouth, and take a big bite.

The specialty doughnuts at Ike & Jane are a must-try for every Athenian.

Fast food mornings can’t compare to the menu at Ike & Jane.

Rise&Dine breakfast

Instead of another lazy weekend morning in a Wa-Ho booth, haul your hungry self into The Local Jam for an upgrade to the Chicken and Waffle Sammy. A corporate logo monogrammed on your waffle is legit, but rosemary fried chicken plus another waffle on your waffle is a breakfast for champions. Say you’re not in the mood to sit and stay a while. There’s no better occasion to bypass dunkin’ into a plain jane doughnut chain and roll on over to Ike & Jane for a unique fried dough creation. America may run on…other round breakfast pastries, but only in Athens can you run on Ike & Janes’ red velvet cake doughnuts.

MiddayMotivation lunch

You could fill your midday sandwich fix with a Smoked Ham and Swiss at Panera Bread. Or you could instead experience deeper sandwich satiation with Big City Bread’s Smoked Ham, Peach and Brie. Contrary to popular belief, even if a rolled-up cyclist’s pant leg and vintage sweater fresh from Agora isn’t your style, you and Big City can totally be BFFs (Bread Friends Forever). Anything on freshly baked walnut wheat should seal the deal. Or hey, it might be a burrito type of day. Rather than visit one of Athens’s numerous commercial burrito stands, spice up your routine with the Mondo Burrito from The Grit. Open-face and laden with smoky black bean chili, fresh vegetation, and all the standard accoutrements, meatless might be the only way you take your burrito breaks from here on out. And no worries, carnivores are welcome to veg-out as well. It’s not like The Grit’s staff checks vegetarian identification at the door.

Making the Most of Eating through Athens If a full-bodied taste of Athens is what you’re craving, be sure to chew over these menu navigation tips before dining out on the town. • Don’t hesitate to ask your sever for gastronomic guidance. Most Athenian restaurant folks are quite passionate about their foodie duty and would be delighted to help. • Remember, paying for quality over quantity saves you money on Pepto Bismol. • There’s no shame in being thrown by words like “rillettes” or “confit.” Instead of getting bogged down in confusing verbage, seek out identifying phrases that you’re solid with. • Entrée artistry is available at friendlier price tags when sought earlier in the day. Lunch/brunch is a great time to sample Athens’ finest without wallet remorse.

athens a lacarte dinner

Nothing says dinner in Athens like communally breaking bread with friends… i.e. pizza. Instead of ordering in or transferring to the usual pizza destination, gather your group to share a pie at A Tavola! Adorned with tomato, mozzarella, caramelized onion, pancetta and peppers, a slice of pancetta and cipolla might be the break from a Tuesday, one-topping special that your taste buds are pleading for.

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MARCH 2012

Big City Bread’s Smoked Ham, Peach and Brie sandwich can pick up any boring lunch date.


1. Clocked made it to the top of our list because it encompasses all the elements that make up a truly Athenian burger joint. Its Bronco Burger is simple but extravagant. Bacon, smoked Gouda and onion rings make the burger look like a semi that is just too tall to fit under an overpass as the sandwich enters your mouth, but the burger benefits from each ingredient. If you want the essential diner experience without a crowded dining room, and mostly to lose yourself in your burger, Clocked has the meal for you.

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2. Graze Burgers - Although their menu boasts several delicious slider creations, this burger joint has a spectacular Southwestern Black Bean Burger that could make a carnivore think twice. It comes topped with avocado slices, sprouts, fresh salsa, and Pepper Jack.

best Burgers By Remy Thurston Photos by Gabriella Baetti

The Bronco Burger at Clocked topped our list.

Clocked’s decor adds to its “essential diner experience”

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3. The Royal Peasant only serves their lamb burger on Fridays for lunch, but it’s worth the wait. Lamb may be the only other four-legged creature that belongs between two buns more than a cow. 4. Etienne - Have your taste buds die and go to French heaven after tasting the Foie Gras Butter Burger here. A plump juicy patty and caramelized onions warm up and melt the foie gras butter to give each one of your taste buds a warm salty butter beret. 5. Stuffed Burger - With hundred of possible burger combinations, we recommend the queso and chorizo stuffed burger. Cheese and spicy sausage were meant to be on the inside of a burger. 6. Farm 255 - The Grassfed Burger pulls out the creative stops with local ingredients used to make the accouterments of this burger including red onion jam, roasted green tomatoes, cornichon aioli and a slice of cabot cheddar.

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7. Trappeze Pub’s Diner burger is as simple as its name suggests with toppings like red onions, tomatoes, mayo, ketchup and lettuce but is perfectly suited to cure that itch for beef that has been bugging you all week. 8. The Grill - Try the Smurf burger. It comes on a fluffy kaiser roll with grilled onions and peppers, peppery seasonings and any other topping you may want, all draped under a curtain of blue cheese dressing. 9. White Tiger Gourmet - Any bad mood melts away like mozzarella on top of their Alice burger piled with grilled mushrooms, cheese, greens and White Tiger sauce. 10. Heirloom Cafe - Sit down for an utterly local lunch with their All the Way Burger. It has a grass fed burger patty, a slice of Tillamook cheddar cheese, lettuces from local farmers, grilled sweet onions, homemade aioli & ketchup on a Luna hamburger bun.

Located 31/2 blocks from downtown (706) 227-6222

www.909broad.com

909 E. Broad St, Athens, GA 30601 24421


MUSIC

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Seeking out Good Vibrations

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Taste makers

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.com s n e h t A e s u o H e g ia r r a www.C Saving m oney on rent... Suspect Raptor is a four-piece indie grunge band led by frontwoman Ashton May. Their style is reminiscent of ’90s throwback garage rock, and they even boast some of the sex appeal of Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The guitars are melancholic and subdued and often spazz out in a fuzzy blast of noise. But it is May’s vocals that set this band apart from all other Athens bands. Her voice is precise and controlled, switching between a melodic croon and a punky snarl on any given track. Songs such as “Like You Care” showcase this balance of rough and soft with its light vocal ohs and sudden, raw chorus. Guitarist Adriana Starr attends the University where she studies economics. When she’s not on campus, you can find her and the rest of Suspect Raptor in the studio mixing and mastering their upcoming album, “Ghost in Hand.”

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a m p e r s a n d : music

Juice Box is comprised of five University students creating some of the funkiest music around right now. They specialize in feel-good bar room music featuring leg-shaking grooves and extended solos and musical rides. Influenced by such titans of jam as the Allman Brothers, Phish, and John Butler Trio can be found in each of their extended jams. Juice Box is rooted with an ironclad rhythm section that brings the underlying oomph to Jeff Jones and Alex Everbusch’s vocal tradeoffs. They have been busy playing around the Classic City since late 2010, and it is apparent they know a thing or two about booking and making connections as they have graced the 40 Watt stage more than once. Four of the five members are also in the Terry Music Business program at the University.

Juice Box cites bands such as the Allman Brothers and Phish as influences for their feel-good jams. Photo | Allison Love

DJ M-Tek, also known as Philip Ferrara, is one of the best DJs in Athens right now because he’s making dubstep that is danceable and enjoyable without sounding aggressive or formulaic. He’s classically trained, and it shows with how well he fits different melodic lines together to create solid dance music. Ferrara, a dietetics major at the University, began his musical career with the viola at age 11. After his stint in the classical world, Ferrara looked to electronic music while experimenting with production and sound design in his late teens. He has played extensively in both Athens and Atlanta, and he has even teamed up with local Atlanta musician Bayda and formed the DJ/production duo Trikum in 2011. Philip continues to write and record his music and has written such expansive electro mixes as “High Energy, High Focus: Vol. 1.” You can find just about anything in this piece from teeth-shaking dub to Moombahton to quirky cornet ditties, and that grab-bag of musical styles within one piece is what makes DJ M-Tek a major force in the Athens electro scene. Athens’ own DJ M-Tek’s take on dub-step has made him an electro force to be reckoned with. Photo | Alan Liow

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MARCH 2012


Seeking out good vibrations

Story by Elizabeth Friedly

photo | courtesy of bird names

photo | courtesy of timmy and the tumblers

“Ever since I’ve moved to Athens I’ve had one project or another,” Tim Schreiber says without fanfare, a fact as obvious and banal as breathing. Although his diverse résumé has made him a staple of the local scene, most recognize Schreiber as the mastermind behind Timmy and the Tumblers. In August 2001, Schreiber moved from Michigan and enrolled at the University of Georgia. “I liked it there but it didn’t seem like a friendly place,” Schreiber says, describing Michigan as “sort of cold-shoulder.” In search of a new scene, Schreiber and a friend visited Athens. Local retro-bands like Olivia Tremor Control first caught Schreiber’s attention but it was the Athens atmosphere that took hold and never let go. The balmy climate, Schreiber claims, “keeps people from wanting to stay inside” and the overall sense of support helped foster Schreiber’s emergence in the music scene. When asked if Athens lived up to his expectations, Schreiber laughs, “The only thing that changes, in terms of what I think about this place is how hard it’s gonna be to move away from it.”

photo | courtesy of grey milk

Grey Milk began as a modest solo project, or as Jesse Houle teasingly puts it, “ Just me lonely at open mics.” Hailing from Massachusetts, Houle and Sean Watson took Grey Milk to Athens in the winter of 2008. The pair had friends in town who initially offered to help them settle in. Houle grins, “..So we were like, ‘oh we’ll give it a few months’, and now it’s been a few years so I guess we really like it.” Urged out of New England by their desire to start anew, the mild weather lured another band southward. Unaware of the parade of bands originating from Athens, Houle independently discovered and fell in love with the “festering anthill of music and art.” Once here, the ubiquitous pressure to “earn, earn, earn” was nowhere to be found, “…in Athens you feel like, no, this is a good way to live, scraping by and not really making a difference but trying to, that’s OK, who needs a 401(k).”

Bird Names’ travels span not one, but two migrations across state lines. After graduating, David Lineal packed up his life in Iowa and relocated to Chicago. Bird Names came into being around 2004, spending six years in Chi-town before Lineal began to feel “a little soggy,” deeming the move an effort to “quicken up my blood.” After touring throughout the country, the band found its way to Athens in 2010. “Logistically it had a lot going for it,” Lineal says, “Culturally though, a difference that I didn’t anticipate was that Athens is more on the East Coast indie circuit,” as compared to Chicago. “It feels more connected to a greater culture,” he says, his only desire being to improve the local “listening culture.” Nevertheless, the easy-going city’s soul roots the Bird Names in Athens for years to come.


a m p e r s a n d : music

taste makers Story by Satyam Kaswala

Photo | Allison Love

“Cool” (1980) Before there was R.E.M, there was Pylon. The pioneering post-punk group was the unsung hero of the incipient Athens indie movement, and their classic debut single was like a tornado siren signaling the oncoming storm of sounds from Athens that would change underground music. The bass and drums march into the song with a stomping pulse, mimicking the sense of purpose of a soldier in war. Restless guitars and melodies ascend up a staircase of notes, collapse, and then release all the tension before repeating the pattern again. Singer Vanessa Hay serenades, growls and shouts her way through the track, tearing through one of the most iconic vocal performances in the city’s history. “At the time, we all felt like they were the most important and cutting edge band to come out of Athens,” said Jared Bailey, founder of AthFest. “Even the guys in R.E.M. said that.” The song’s cryptic lyricism, minimalist dance rhythms and at once nervous and sprightly aesthetic would prove influential throughout the decade. In 2011, the venerated psych-ambient rock group Deerhunter, led by Athens native Bradford Cox, released a cover of the song as an ode to its formative importance. Its legacy marches on well into the 21st century.

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“Radio Free Europe” (1981) And then everything changed. The release of R.E.M.’s debut single was a watershed moment in rock music, and was perhaps more responsible than any other song for lending Athens its legendary status as the first peripheral music town. The song’s key accomplishment was that it proved to artists that they didn’t have to work within the constraints of a corrupt industry system to have their music heard on a national level. The track was one of the earliest underground national hits distributed completely independently — released on the independent label HibTone, disseminated by college radio and local record stores, and spread to places ignored by the industry through the band’s pioneering do-it-yourself touring circuits. Now, it was easier for bands to chart their own path to success, and in a mercenary era, that was validating. “When ‘Radio Free Europe’ came out, it blew everybody away,” said Jared Bailey. “We couldn’t believe that these guys we knew were making this music and getting so much attention.” Indeed the band rips through the song with a rare vitality, spiritedly combining jangly, ringing guitars, lilting bass and drumming and an inscrutable, impressionistic singing style, all a democracy of murky sounds as gritty as they were elegant. Indie forefathers from the Replacements to Nirvana to Radiohead mined these influences immeasurably. Michael Stipe’s elusive lyricism seemed to channel an entire generation’s search for meaning. But the message was clear: “Decide yourself.”


“Two-Headed Boy Pt. 2” (1997) In 1991, high school friends Robert Schneider, Bill Doss, Will Cullen Hart and Jeff Mangum formed the Elephant 6 Recording Company, a closeknit collective of artists who exchanged their music and ideas amongst each other. Most of the collective soon stumbled from Denver to Athens, and the experimental music they made here as Neutral Milk Hotel, The Olivia Tremor Control and Apples in Stereo once again made the Classic City a key epicenter of forward-thinking indie music in the 1990s. But it was the devastating closer from Neutral Milk Hotel’s 1997 landmark In the Aeroplane Over the Sea that seemed to capture the spirit of the era. The song nearly invented a new mode of expression in rock music, as Mangum tells a harrowing story of a man so defeated and lonesome that he personifies a ghost that lives in his dream only so he can fall in love with it. Where many bands buried their emotion, Mangum exposes his with such courage that the act of listening almost feels voyeuristic. The song threatens to collapse under the weight of its own feeling, yet never does. As the acoustic chords tumble to a halt and Mangum slows his singing during the final stanza, he lets out his parting advice, “But don’t hate her when she gets up to leave.” We get the sense that he’s referring to his own soul. The album helped spur entire new phases of music in the 2000s from surreal folk to lyrics-first rock to the historical indie concept album, and important contemporary bands like Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes, the Decemberists and Titus Andronicus have cited it as a sacred text in their development. Indeed, the album has become one of the city’s bibles.

In a town with as much musical history as Athens, testing local taste makers is just a record away. Photo | Maura Friedman

“Desire Lines” (2010) Deerhunter’s sprawling, ethereal centerpiece from their end-of-decade album Halcyon Digest plays like an astonishing summation of the splintered Athens musical trends of the 2000s. Recorded in Athens’ Chase Park Transduction Studios, the track is washed in the kind of hallucinatory euphoria local greats of Montreal mastered, the pounding pop immediacy of The Whigs and Modern Skirts, the droning, exploratory guitar work of Widespread Panic and Cinemechanica, and the spectral vocal layering of chillwave progenitor Washed Out. At first, the bass careens from a low rumble to a high soar, punctuated by sparkling guitars and a languid vocal melody. But the real beauty lies in how the song sheds its own structure midway through and the celestial guitars ascend into another realm, the arresting final three minutes becoming a palette-cleanser for the conscious. The restless nature of “Desire Lines” highlights another defining characteristic of contemporary Athens music—adventurousness. As bands continue to veer into scattered directions, “Desire Lines” makes clear that the city’s soul still radiates through sound.

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Athens creative powerhouse Story by Satyam Kaswala

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Jared Bailey, an Athens resident for more than three decades, has helped give rise to the 40 Watt, Flagpole and AthFest. Photo | Alan Liow

ayberry, R.F.D. on acid. That’s how Jared Bailey described Athens when he moved here in 1977, the same year the B-52s played their first house show. The town soon ascended from a sleepy Andy Griffith reference into an Indie music mecca, and Bailey leapt with it.

For more than three decades, Bailey has been a champion of the Athens music and arts scene as well as a community activist. He serves as the District 5 County Commissioner, where his platform includes strengthening the city’s artistic infrastructure. He sees it as another extention of his activist role. It’s a role he’s been learning to play since he arrived. “I found it to be a liberating place,” Bailey said of his early experiences with the city he’d later have an important impact on. “It was a small town, but you had these few characters who were just a little out there. It allowed me to look at things through a different perspective.” In order to get to know these different yet endearing characters better, Bailey began working as a doorman at a new venue called 40 Watt Club. This was at the turn of the decade. By 1987, Bailey was the owner. He managed and eventually owned the 40 Watt for close to 20 years, providing countless adventurous Athens bands with a vital outlet of musical exploration. “40 Watt was a very different thing back then,” Bailey said. “It wasn’t as big and it wasn’t as professional. It was something that was put together and run by musicians who really just wanted a place to party and have a place to play.” The influence on bands Members of the influential local band Pylon founded the club – keeping with indie and punk’s do-it-yourself ethos. But Bailey’s fondest memo-

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ries of his 40 Watt days involve members from a local group who called themselves Plague Shot and heckled Bailey while he sound checked the stage. Their rehearsal space was nearby, and they swooped by to ask him on multiple occasions if they could test out a new song or two in between the sets of the billed bands. Bailey always agreed, for by that time Plague Shot was one of the biggest and most universally acclaimed groups in the world. Their real name was R.E.M. The music bands played at the 40 Watt wasn’t simply a soundtrack to partying. Bailey often organized concert benefits for non-profits in the broader community, aiding organizations like the Mental Health Association, AIDS Athens and homeless shelters. On these days, the 40 Watt’s music became the sound of the city’s big, beating heart. There was fluidity between musicians, fans and the community, and the national success Athens bands like R.E.M. enjoyed did not upend them from their roots. Yet despite the fact that Athens set the template for what a thriving college music town could accomplish with the right people, infrastructure and passion, Bailey and his friends did not always feel like they were key players acting in a historical moment. “I don’t think in those early years many people thought of it as something that was groundbreaking that would get so much national or international attention,” he said. “It was simply fun. It was people finding ways in a small southern town to entertain themselves.”


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“[The 40 Watt] was put together and run by musicians who really just wanted a place to party and have a place to play.”

Birth of Flagpole Bailey felt that the existing local publications were not giving Athens musicians the attention they deserved, even if national and international ones were. The local press was too focused on cover bands playing at get-drunk frat clubs and bands with a lot of advertising money while ignoring the burgeoning indie scene as it grew in influence. He took it upon himself to change that by founding Flagpole in 1987, an alternative magazine created for people who cared about and invested their lives in Athens music. “I thought there should be some outlet for us to promote what we had here,” Bailey said. “I got together local record stores, other venues and instrument shops for support, and it grew. There was a core group of people ready for this kind of magazine.” Bailey was active in maintaining the 40 Watt Club and Flagpole into the 90s. By that decade, the daily grind of rock and roll life started to take its toll on him. He was stricken with life-threatening pancreatitis. He was bed ridden for six months. Medical bills piled up. He had no health insurance. With few other options, Bailey was forced to sell Flagpole and the 40 Watt Club. But even with his body and mind on the verge of decay, he was not ready to stop promoting Athens music and serving the community. It was time for something new. Something on a far larger scale than anything Athens had known.

Bailey now serves Athens and its cultural scene as Athens-Clarke County Commissioner for District 5. Photo | Alan Liow

Festival In 1997, Bailey founded Athfest with some support from the Downtown Development Authority as well as local music stores and publications. Athfest is a non-profit three-day annual music and arts festival dedicated to celebrating and showcasing not only Athens art talent, but also the town as a whole. “I wanted it to be a promotional tool for the community as well as an economic development tool,” Bailey said. “It’s become an event that people feel is part of the psyche of Athens. They own it.” Organizers put together the first Athfest in a mere 10 weeks. In classic punk fashion, the front steps of the city courthouse became the stage. Sixty artists played to total peak crowds of a few thousand people, strumming and slashing their guitars in sweltering heat. By 1998, the Georgia Convention and Visitors Bureau named Athfest the Festival of the Year. The following two years, a struggling local artist named John Mayer performed. By last year, 60,000 fans flocked the city to witness 200 artists with local ties perform. The festival’s tents expanded and now include visual arts, film and arts education benefits like KidsFest and a running marathon. Athfest is nationally recognized as one of the best small town music festivals in America and has become a vital part of the city’s cultural consciousness. Even with these accomplishments and visceral level of engagement with the Athens community, Bailey longed to invest even more of himself in the city. He transitioned from being a social entrepreneur to an official city representative. In 2010, he was elected as the Athens-Clarke County Commissioner for District 5. His upcoming projects range from mixed-use development, environmental management and work with the Arts Council he founded. Yet despite his own legacy, promoting Athens’ artistic side continues to be his vital mission. “My goal is to make the community a safe place for everybody,” Bailey said. He didn’t forget to nod to the music when he added, “Safe, and sound.”

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athens •

fashion Flask him anything, p. 19 Ready for runway, p. 21 Satisfactory prints, p. 22

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Photo | Andrea Briscoe


flask him anything Story by Rémy Thurston Photos by Lindsay Boyle

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a m p e r s a n d : fashion

Jarred Beall, a 2007 University graduate, sells fashion-forward flasks from his Athens-based Etsy site. The flask featuring the iconic Chase Street Warehouse water towers (pictured bottom left) is his best seller.

Jarred Beall made several forays into different industries after receiving a degree in landscape architecture from the University in 2007. Landscape architecture is still his passion, but has since worked in fabrication and graphic design until the landscape architecture industry recovers from the bad economy. His artistic streak and creative drive led him to the website Etsy.com where people can buy and sell hand made art pieces. Beall thought he could create unique pieces as a hobby and sell them on the side while keeping his day job. “I was curious to see if people would like something that I produced. They seemed to like my photographs… I don’t even have an SLR camera, but I’m pretty good at photo processing,” he said. Beall had seen other flasks on Etsy.com and thought flasks featuring his photography would give them a unique touch not available

elsewhere on the site. His previous work experience allowed him to conceive a unique method to customize flasks, though he hesitated to share it with the public. The gallery he offers of different flask designs boasts everything from artistic renderings to photographs that no one could guess were taken with a pocket-sized point and shoot camera. The most popular flask that he sells has an industrial-looking picture of large steel silos that can be found off of Chase Street in Athens, but not all his flasks are adorned with local scenes. His time in Australia and New York City also provided scenes to display on his flasks. A canary-yellow van that he photographed in New York was later not only featured on his own wares but also part of the background in a scene from the FX show “Louie.” Just like his flasks are customized, so is

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Beall’s packaging. “On every box I send out, every single one, I draw a little doodle… Just to say thank you.” One particular doodle was popular enough to make it to the front page of the link-aggregating site Reddit.com. The doodle was of the eternally lonesome Reddit character reaching around the box to give himself a rose for Valentines day. The flasks have been featured on the front page of Etsy.com twice; the first time was during the rush of holiday shopping. The front page is good advertising, but Beall contends that the product is its own best advertiser, even though he tries not to flaunt his own wears in public. As Beall’s Etsy.com site says, his flasks are for “people who want to drink and look good doing it.” To be one of those people find his flasks at: etsy.com/shop/jforms.


ready for runway

“I never wanted to be anything else other than a designer,” said student designer Anna Hobbs. Hobbs designs all her creations herself, including the actual fabrics she uses.

Student designer Anna Hobbs has her dreams set on creating her own fashion line — sketch by sketch, stitch by stitch. Anna Hobbs is going to Fashion Week. Like the designers before her, sketches are tacked along a stark white wall, dress forms fitted with samples stand tall and a sewing machine sits idle on a long black table. Welcome to Hobbs’ studio space at Lamar Dodd. Hobbs, a fabric design major and fashion merchandising minor at the University, is preparing for her second fashion show with the Fashion Design Student Association (FDSA) for the University’s first Fashion Week. Before that takes place however, she’s busy finishing up samples as a finalist for Fashion Uncorked, a design competition benefitting the philanthropic organization Easter Seals. The winner earns a trip to Los Angeles and has their collections featured at L.A. Fashion Week. But for Hobbs, it’s not about winning; it’s about networking and the overall experience of having her designs shown. Hobbs’ pursuit began at a young age and was a welcome addition to her already artistic family; her mom is an art teacher, her dad is a photographer and her older brother is a musician. “From elementary school and early on, I wanted to be a Barbie fashion designer and that stuck,” Hobbs said. “I never wanted to be anything else other than a designer. I started out drawing Disney princesses, and I remember getting so angry at the cartoons because they would not change clothes.” A one-week summer camp at the Savannah College of Art and Design during high school solidified her interest in fashion design. Hobbs took a class in fashion sketching, and became engrossed with its hands-on creativity. Although sketching came easy, sewing did not. After designing and sewing two pieces for her first fashion show in spring 2010 with FDSA, Hobbs realized her own abilities. “It’s such a confidence booster. You see your stuff walk across the stage, and you’re like, ‘that’s mine’ and all of your friends are supporting you. It was a big thing,” Hobbs said. She adds, “I feel like I’ve grown and now I see the potential in other

things I can make, and [that] there aren’t any boundaries to my creativity.” What sets Hobbs apart from many designers, both emerging and established, is the use of her own fabrics. The process of fabric design begins with dying the fabric. Handdrawn print designs on paper are transferred onto a woven mesh where it is screen printed onto fabric. For Hobbs, majoring in fabric design was a fluke. She entered UGA with the intent on pursuing a studio art degree with a concentration in drawing and painting; however an ill-fated oil painting class and a chance encounter in an Introduction to Fabric Design course prompted a change in major. “I feel so blessed to be able to be in a major and do something every day that I am passionate about and love so much,” said Hobbs. A long-sleeved gold sequined party dress stands in the middle of a pack of yellow and orange tribalprinted samples. Hobbs says she designed it for herself to wear to the Fashion Uncorked show. Her primary inspiration for creating her sketches comes from asking one simple question:

Story by Taylor Henriquez Photos by Andrea Briscoe

“What would I want to wear?” And for Hobbs, that revelation is the fun part in the process. Busy with school, a job at the Ramsey Student Center and an ambassador for Franklin College, Hobbs relished her rare moment of free time to construct the dress in only 45 minutes. Her ultimate goal is to create her own line that not only represents high-fashion couture, but can also be modified for the mass market. She practiced her sketching while interning last summer for former celebrity stylist and fashion designer, Ellie May Byars for the line, Mizzae. No matter what path Hobbs pursues after graduation, one thing will always be certain: her family’s care and support. “My family has always said that they will help me with my business,” said Hobbs. “My mom said she will help me do the sewing and designing. My aunt wants to do the finances and my dad wants to be the photographer. My parents have always supported me in everything that I have done, and have been huge influences in my life. I have a wonderful support system, and I haven’t asked for anything better than that.”

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a m p e r s a n d : fashion

Satisfactory: so fresh and so clean Story by Megan Swanson Photos by Gabriella Baetti

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Tuesday the cat stares inquisitively at the door, perched on a chair in the main office of the Satisfactory T-shirt building. Tuesday came with the building, said Nick Cervini, owner and head creative master of Satisfactory, and with the establishment of a new business and bustling activity all the live long day, Tuesday still sticks around. He must know a good thing when he sees it.

An accent wall plastered with a black and white graphic print sets the stage for what is the Satisfactory show. Next door, warehouse with screen printing machines and piles of newly pressed shirts in vivid colors and designs. Satisfactory has been in business since 2003, but Nick Cervini began printing in his garage in 2000 while studying at the University. Cervini was setting up the Broad Street building when Justin Knox came calling. Knox had all but packed his bags to leave town when he wandered into the building to investigate what was going in the space. “I just

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wanted to buy something from him,” Cervini jokes, and from that point on Justin was the head of sales. Claire Campbell joined the gang by request of Cervini, her roommate and fellow band member at the time to handle Satisfactory’s book-keeping. Since then, the company has expanded nationally, attracting customers such as R.E.M. and Foo Fighters, and is popular in the local scene with restaurants, bands, companies and student organizations. The simplicity of a T-shirt serves to unify people everywhere, Athens in particular. “T-shirts are recession proof. They

are usually the first priority in people’s advertising budgets because they function as a walking billboard,” Knox said. Satisfactory, located in a bright blue building on Broad St. houses more than T-shirts coated with company logos and band names. They specialize in all types of printing and try to convince customers the extent to which a creative design will go. In between the witty remarks of Cervini and Knox, customers come and go, each one engaging in conversation and an invitation to take a look around. Trends in Athens’ fashion may move slower than elsewhere, but T-shirts,


From local identities such as restaurants, bands, greek and student organizations to nationally renowned names, Satisfactory Screen Printing and Design unifies people through a basic T-shirt with collaborative design.

they’re staying put since they became popular toward the beginning of the 20th century. “Trends come and go in the processes of printing, but the basic T-shirt is the same,” Cervini said. He continues to examine the endless possibilities in T-shirts- computerized tee, anyone? Greek life is a strong point in Athens that pushes T-shirt production to a new level. With each philanthropic event, formal weekend or date night, the T-shirt orders flow with frightening speeds. “I absolutely love my sorority girls,” Knox said. “He does! He gets hugs!” Cervini added. The comfort color T’s coveted by greek life at the moment is solid example of the trending cycles of T-shirts. “American Apparel changed the scene because it made a shirt that fit

well and was soft,” Cervini said. In-house T-shirt line, NICO, is an expression of the classic and creative with printed animals on soft tees in several different colors and finishes. Last year, NICO became a creative outlet for the classic images and soft tees Cervini and Knox find are always in style. Discharge prints of intertwined elephants, tigers and lions adorn each tee that provides every day comfort along with a splash of color. “T-shirts are unifying, we all wear these shirts,” Cervini said, “You know there is a certain look for each group, but the basic shirt is the same.” The Internet in the past few years has made T-shirt design increasingly accessible. Besides T-shirts remaining, “a fairly rectangular shape with two sleeves and a neckhole,” Knox said, “I think its becoming easier and easier to make

your own shirts and design your own shirts with online services. So everyone is an artist now,” Cervini said. If personality osmosis was an actual occurence, Satisfactory T’s would ooze wit and comic relief. In reality, customers will be forced to absorb as much as possible during T-shirt pick up time. The guys and girl of Satisfactory will keep on printing and pushing comfortable boundaries of traditional design. Satisfactory is not a plug and chug printing shop. “Our process is more of a design collaboration,” Cervini said, “People want all of their shirts to look like fashion shirts now anyway.” “It’s the anti-shirt,” Knox said, “It’s like wearing a blanket,” Cervini jokes. They both laugh continue and continue to talk tees while the printing machines chug away in the room next door with Tuesday asleep atop boxes of extra shirts. MARCH 2012

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ON THE MOVE

athens •

rides

p. 25 Marco! Polo! Bikes, mallets, and “misfits” in Athens, Ga. p. 27 BikeAthens: Local nonprofit providing refurbished bikes p. 28 Jocks on Two Wheels; Twilight Preparation p. 29 Getting Around Campus

photo | Hilary Hogg


MARCO! POLO! Bikes, mallets, and misfits in Athens, GA By Maura Friedman photo | Maura Friedman

I

t’s 8:30 p.m. on a Wednesday and the sky is starless, but fluorescent bulbs light the basketball courts next to the Russell Hall parking deck like the sun.

“Polo time means we’re always late,” Erica Compton, a University junior, said, back against the chain link fence and legs sprawled beneath her. Erica and her team placed seventh in the North American championships for bike polo, a sport few have heard of that’s played every week in our own backyard. Before long a rag-tag gang of people assemble next to her with an even more rag-tag array of bikes and mallets they’ve each constructed themselves, true to the underground culture of the sport. The community dynamics, which everyone is quick to agree are at the heart of bike polo, are evident as the group jokes and laughs together. If Robin Hood’s Merry Men were more interested in braking systems than bows and arrows, this crowd would be their equals. And though the merrymaking continues on the court, there’s some serious, fast-paced play ahead. The Game “I think personally that it’s a lot more like hockey than horse polo,” Compton said, explaining the bike polo basics. Games are between two teams of three and play the first to five goals. “If you put your foot down [off the bike], you have to tap out on the wall to continue to play, but otherwise you are just trying to make goals in a bike-sized goal [by hitting the ball with your mallet].” Bike polo is a contact sport and accidents do happen, but Compton says that after the first few falls peoples’ fears fade fast. The game is usually played on a circular court, but the Athens group makes do with available basketball courts. It’s not the only aspect of Athens bike polo that’s taken some creativity. “We’re kind of the second wave of players,” said David Cherof, a University senior. “It all kind of disbanded a little bit and Eric started it back up again.” He was referring to Eric Lewis, the 27-year-old bar manager at Etienne Brasserie, a downtown French restaurant, and the self-appointed Athens representative for the bike polo community. Lewis, who before starting with bike polo a little over a year ago hadn’t ridden a bike in thirteen years, entered the scene when it was fading out as most active members moved away. Lewis took up organizing the weekly gatherings, building spare bikes and mallets, and recruiting players to keep the game he loved alive. “This is a do-it-yourself sport, people have done it before, we can do it again,” Lewis said of his attitude during that period. Now they average about ten people a week at games, most of whom have only been playing about a year, and garner a crowd of as many as twenty during warmer months. Often the Athens bike polo group is joined by teams from Atlanta or Milledgeville, Ga. for tournaments or, more often, “friendlies,” noncompetitive games. The bike polo community stretches much further than that, however, with teams and leagues all over the world. “When we first started playing three years ago, there were clubs in the big cities…but now just about any major city where there’s a bike community has a big polo scene,” Compton said. “Just the fact that they had to hold regional qualifiers [for the world championships this year] shows how much it’s taken off.” Compton’s team last year was the first ever from the Southeast to qualify for the World Championship, although she says most Athens players only travel to close by tournaments because they haven’t been playing for long. Compton was also the female who went furthest in the North American championships. “It’s a very guy heavy sport,” Compton said. “It’s mostly guys who play but there’s a lot of encouragement for girls to play.” She said the sport is trying to open its doors to more women by hosting women’s bike polo tournaments and adds some clubs in Europe even have female-only games once a month. The People For many players, bike polo stitches together a community within a community. “There’s competitive cycling like Twilight and then there’s us crusty kids who don’t really do that kind of thing but are still involved in our own bike culture,” Cherof said. “This is one of those outlets.” The sentiment is echoed in the global bike polo community where strangers can reach out to one another and are immediately regarded as friends. As Athens rep, whenever fellow bike polo players pass through Athens they message Lewis and he sets up a place for them to stay and arranges a game and extra gear. He says there are people like him in most major cities in the world, especially the United States and Western Europe.

MARCH 2012

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a m p e r s a n d : rides

>>

University student Erica Compton (pictured below) and her two teammates from Atlanta placed seventh in the North American bike polo championships.

photo | Wes Blankenship

Bike polo players call the game a “do-it yourself sport” because they use handwrought mallets and personally customized bikes for play.

“Basically it’s just a huge family, we try to help each other out as much as possible,” Compton said. “It’s a bunch of misfits riding bikes and we all hang out together and we all drink together…I have a house to stay anywhere in the entire world.” The Gear “It’s something where more of the common man can play because it’s a lot easier to get your hands on a bike then a horse or an elephant,” Lewis said, comparing the fixings for bike polo to the requirements of its traditional polo roots in England and India. “It’s really still a do-it-yourself kind of sport.” Rubber hockey balls are hit around courts by handmade mallets, ideally constructed from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a type of shatter resistant PVC that players have to buy online or occasionally “borrow” from construction sites due to its availability. When bike polo began in Athens, players made do with coke bottles taped to the ends of broomsticks, but Lewis taught himself to make mallets and now even holds mallet making parties. “You just need a bonfire, power tools, and a case of beer,” Lewis said. As for the bikes, Lewis has seen mountain bikes, track bikes, road bikes and everything in between, including a unicycle once. Most of the bikes are salvaged from thrift stores and start as scrap. “There’s something nice about a sport that you just take the leftovers of things and make something fun out of it,” Cherof said of their crafted equipment. According to Lewis, many “polo kids” decorate their bikes and see them as almost an extension of themselves, something he contributes to the underground culture of the sport. Everyone describes bike polo this way, though they’re quick to clarify this characterization doesn’t translate to exclusivity. The Invitation “Every underground sport needs membership or else it dies, so everyone’s friendly,” Lewis said. “I ran into Eric and he’d been playing for a couple months and he gets really excited about things really fast and that’s how I found out they do it,” Cherof said. “I came by that Wednesday and have been coming by every Wednesday since.” Compton says the wide range of skill sets on the court every week should ease newbie nerves. “A lot of people who are playing with us now have only been playing for the past year, which also means there’s a big variety in skill level which means we can encourage people to come out,” Compton said. “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had with the greatest people I’ve ever met,” Lewis said.

>> photo | Wes Blankenship

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Not the Destination, but the Journey Local Nonprofit BikeAthens provides refurbished bikes to those without transport By: Adina Solomon It is a menagerie of bike frames, wheels, brakes and lights. A towering doorway lets in sunlight as six volunteers work to fix the donated bikes. One teaches another how to wrap handlebars. Richard Shoemaker has volunteered with BikeAthens for almost two years in the Bike Recycling Program, a shop tucked away in the Chase Park Warehouse that is full of beat-up bikes and people willing to restore them. Shoemaker wears his work clothes: jeans and a blue apron with black gloves in the pocket. “I get to work with my hands instead of grading papers,” Shoemaker said, a retired high school English teacher. BikeAthens is an organization with a mission to promote walking, cycling and public transit as solutions to transportation needs. BikeAthens’ Bike Recycling Program began in 2001 as a way for volunteers to fix bikes and donate them to people in need. “Needy means they don’t have transportation,” Shoemaker explained. The BRP supplies fixed bikes, along with new helmets and bike locks, to local agencies such as the Salvation Army and Action Ministries, who then pass them along to individuals. People from the community donate bikes, and University Police and Athens-Clarke County Police officers give abandoned bikes that they have found.The BRP refurbishes an average of 50 adult bikes per year. It takes 10 to 14 hours for volunteers to repair one bike, Shoemaker estimates. Before a bike is donated, each one undergoes three test rides by three different people to ensure all the gears work. Many people in the shop, including Shoemaker, had never repaired a bicycle prior to becoming volunteers. The BRP teaches people on the job during the 7.5 hours a week it’s open. Volunteers are free to come and go as they please, and four to 12 work in the shop at any given time. “I get a lot of satisfaction in learning how to fix a bike,” Shoemaker said. “We’re taking someone’s and making it into something useful.” Demetry Campbell, who has curly hair, khaki shorts and glasses, has volunteered at the BRP for almost three years and rides his bike everywhere. He took a break from fixing a bike in the corner of the shop to talk. Campbell compared the shop to a school. It teaches people how to fix bikes through experience – with the bonus of helping the community. “I think BikeAthens is a good way to reach out to your community,” Campbell said. “This is a good way to get people on their feet again.” Carrie Jensen, a first-year graduate student in geomorphology, only knew how to fix a flat before she began volunteering at the shop in December during Holiday Bikes for Kids, when the BRP fixes exclusively children’s bikes so those who are underprivileged can receive gifts. Shoemaker says the BRP fixed 60 bikes for the 2011 Holiday Bikes for Kids. Since December, Jensen has learned about bearings and installing brakes. “I like the idea,” she said. “It gives people independence who don’t have a car.” The BRP has a few hundred bikes – tandem bikes, rusty bikes and bright green kids’ bikes – all kept in a storeroom in the back of Chase Park Warehouse. Some bikes are destined to be sold by BikeAthens in one of their few sales a year to support the shop. Any bikes that cannot be fixed are used for parts. Nothing goes to waste. Some volunteers do it to help the community. Others do it to work with their hands or learn how to take care of their own bikes. But no matter what, the BRP volunteers will provide a means of transportation for someone who would otherwise not reach a destination. “We’re not getting paid,” Campbell said, “but you know you’re helping other people.”

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photo | Noemie Tshinanga Volunteer, Mike Ely, in the process of fixing one of the bikes from the Bike Athens inventory.

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a m p e r s a n d : rides

Jocks on

Two Wheels

LET IT RIDE

By Hanna Yu

UGA athletes and their scooters are involved in a series of myths, and some facts, that have twisted their way into the grapevines of Athens revolving around athlete perks, controversies of safety and the faltering economy.

University Athletes get motor scooters for free.

Nelson Ward confirms the myth is just that, a myth, from the athlete side. Top Dog Scooters sheds light on the rumor from the sales standpoint. “[Top Dog Scooters] gives all the players scooters, but they pay for it,” Top Dog Scooters employee Andrew Owenby said. And from the University itself, Associate Athletic Director Claude Felton speaks the most bluntly of all. “The athletic association is not permitted to provide scooters to student-athletes in accordance with NCAA rules,” Felton said.

Recent injuries among athletes have an effect on scooter safety. UGA linebacker Ray Drew was injured in a scooter accident in August 2011 and, as a result, “students are more cautious and aware of their surroundings because of scooter and motorcycle accidents,” according to Williams.

Scooters accidents have affected the scooter shops. Top Dog Scooters as well as JavaCycles, a motor scooter shop on Bryan Street in Downtown Athens, both claim that their businesses are not affected by the injuries. Rather, JavaCycles owner Rick Hawkins admits that his business is more affected by the current economic state.

Given the lightning fast speeds the semester is traveling, consider what your plans will be for the Twighlight Criterium weekend this year, April 27 and 28. If the intense winding rides throughout the streets of downtown Athens don’t tickle your biking fancy, consider the Two day rides on Saturday welcome riders for a 30 mile or 60 mile Hub Bikes is located at ride followed by drinks at 1220 South Milledge Ave. Terrapin Brewery. ­­ If North and South Lumpkin is the only variation in your cruising, consult Brian Molloy, owner of The Hub Bicycles in Five Points, for further training. “Getting around on a regular basis, 2-4 times a week is how to start. The difference between a 30 and 60 mile ride is not that big of a difference. Repetition is the biggest thing” Molloy said. —Megan Swanson Where to ride? Molloy suggested driving to Watkinsville and then begin biking on Column Ferry Road towards High Shoals or towards Bostwick.

Steps have been taken to improve scooter safety. “We have programs administered by law enforcement to increase education and awareness for scooter and motorcycle users,” Williams said.Students are now seen around campus wearing helmets while riding their scooters. “[Scooters] do require more attentiveness by not only the scooter driver, but those around them,” Williams added. Hawkins proposed his own ideal solution to motor scooter wrecks. “Take all the cars off the road,” he said, laughing. “The more realistic solution is to educate drivers to watch out for scooters.” With the merging of convenience and safety, UGA athletes as well as other students are using motor scooters as a way of getting around the Athens.

Student-athletes choose to ride motor scooters for convenience. “Get[ting] to class sooner…and know[ing] you have transportation” are the reasons Ward prefers motor scooters to the University bus system and scooters can be seen around campus weaving through traffic, grabbing prime parking, and passing buses.

All student athletes have scooters. “In any given year, only about 20-25% of student-athletes will have a scooter,” Executive Associate Athletic Director Carla Williams said.

Dead batteries cause the majority of scooter failures. Leaving motor scooters turned on causes dead batteries and makes gas go bad, according to Owenby. However, “as long as [people are] careful with scooters and get it serviced, it should be fine.”

Scooter shops blame the economy for the decline in business.

photo | evan stichler

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Economy is the reason for the lack of business in scooter shops as well the reason students buy scooters. On one end, “I’m lucky if I sell a scooter a month and I’ve been doing this for ten years,” Hawkins said. On the other end, “What people don’t understand is that [athletes] don’t have enough money,” Owenby said. “They’re a cheap way to get around with 115 miles per gallon and good parking.” Owenby said the cheapest and most popular scooter is PeaceSports for $1,000.


Maizy Stell Age: 20 Major: Comparative Literature What she’s riding: A red Schwinn Sprint When she got it: A year and a half ago Why she likes it: I ride on the roads most often and I couldn’t afford another bike. It’s very versatile. Where she’s going with it: To work at Sips Coffee on Prince Ave. Photo | Maura Friedman

Robert Vandenberg Job: Professor in Terry College What he’s riding: 2009 HarleyDavidson Screaming Eagle Electraglide Ultraclassic When he got it: December 2009 - was my wife’s Christmas present to me that year. Why he likes it: Because I love to ride every day with a passion whether it’s to work and back or for fun. Where he is going: Every day no matter how long or short the ride may be, I’m going on an adventure. There are both negatives and positives to that adventure each time Photo | Rémy Thurston

Pierre Naude Age: 22 Major: Biology What he’s riding: Giant (brand) Talon 29-2 (type) When he got it: About a year ago, January 2011 Why he likes it: Because it has bigger wheels. Usually mountain bikes have 26 inch wheels but this one has 29 inch which means it goes faster and goes over obstacles easier Where he’s going: Around Athens and just started going on a trail off of Chase Street or intramural fields. Photo | Maura Friedman

Getting around campus Compiled by staff

Kevin Whitaker Age: 21 Major: Recreation Leisure Management Why ride longboard: I just really enjoy it. It’s a nice break in between classes. No hidden meaning of saving the environment. It’s just fun. Brand: DC Where do you ride: Parking decks, random hot spots around campus, depending on class schedule you can get some good runs especially if it’s downhill. Photo | Hilary Hogg

Yong Kim Age: 28 Major: Economics (grad student) What he’s riding: Kawasaki Ninja 250 When he got it: January 2012 Why he likes it: Cheaper than other kinds of bikes, looks like a bigger sports bike, better gas mileage Where he’s going with it: Between home, school, and work, but not grocery shopping Photo | Sean Taylor

Katelyn James Age: 22 Major: Economics What she’s riding: A black Roughhouse scooter When she got it: July of 2010 Why she likes it: It makes getting to class from where I live a lot easier. And since I already had it anyway, riding it just makes sense. Where she’s going: Home Photo | Cody Schmelter

MARCH 2012

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Ampersand Magazine, March 2012